I hesitated a little before writing this review of the last solo album by Paolo Angeli. I hesitated because I felt the need for a pause for reflection and meditation about his music. In recent years I have heard virtually every note that Paul has “frozen” on a phonographic support, I have closely followed his intense activity, I read his book about the Sardinian guitar, I also interviewed him for my book.
Before writing these notes I decided to listen to his music from his past beginning from Linee di Fuga (1998) (it seems that a century has passed from this record), passing by “Nita l’angelo del trapezio” (2005), the monumental “Tessuti” (2007), “Tibi” (2010) (which in a sense close and confirmed an intense creative cycle but that gave some signs of exhaustion), then 4 years of silence to “Sale Quanto Basta” that last year reopened Paolo’s naval routes l shifting his sextant on flamenco, on the Mediterranean, on a greater radiance. Amid so many collaborations, several records in duo and trio, all signs of intensive exploration to 360 degrees, a desire for new experiences, a great playfulness and vital intensity, a cauldron from which came out Sale Quanto Basta, a work characterized by a great energy. the same that you can feel at the beginning of a new journey when the adrenaline and excitement are soaring while the eyes peering in the distance and the mind plays trying to imagine the experiences that will soon be experienced and what you will encounter.Then the journey starts, the first meetings, the first impressions … the first difficulties, we define the distances, the creative process is focused, it becomes more intense, perhaps less full of energy, but more refined and expressive.I think this is the message of SU, a simple but direct signal by a musician (I write specifically musician not guitarist, because I believe that Paolo has long exceeded the technical and tonal limits of hi six strings) that is always the perennial search for something new, challenging and exciting.
Often in our time we insist in calling loudly a new revolution, a huge mediatic change, the cancellation of traditions and customs and then we understand that there is nobody more conservative then the reactionary one’s, more figurative then an iconoclast, more dangerous then a Crusader.
Paolo is a musician who has long pursued a highly personal path, against and away the main currents, a path that is in my opinion (it is my personal opinion) the perfect antithesis of what our media-mind you might expect from a revolutionary. There is not a revolution in the way of Paolo plays , but a continuous, slow, steady evolution.
His own instrument bears witness: it is not born that way, it’s not a “tool” made and defined, it is in continuous construction, in perpetual renovation. I do not think we can expect something different from Paolo: a continuous change in which, however, for those who follow him for some time, it is not difficult to trace some basic references that long “egregious” his music: the Sardinia, flamenco, ’70s radical improvisation, the fusion of Metheny, some pop refined taste, his ironic vein and radical background. And then the music, always straight to the heart, straight to the emotions.